26 March 2010

The Vampire Diaries S1 E15 "A Few Good Men"

Spoilers Ahead

Thank the vampire gods for Damon! Between Stefan's complete lack of personality, Elayna's uselessness, and the generally annoying nature of most of the other characters, Damon is pretty much the only reason to watch this show (but at least he's a good reason). I believe I've said it before but I can't tell if Ian Somerhalder is a a really good actor, or if he just seems that way in comparison to the rest of the cast. In any case he shines, and I'd be surprised if anyone watching actually roots for the heroes of The Vampire Diaries. I know I'm not.

Mind you, it's not all bad. I rather enjoyed the introduction of Matt's drunken mom, Kelly, played by Melinda Clarke, who also played one of my favourite characters on Firefly, Nandi. (And for anyone keeping count, that's two Firefly alum now who have made appearances on TVD. Any chance Nathan Fillion or Jewel Staite are going to show up?) I especially liked Kelly when she told Caroline she could give sucking up to her a rest, adding that Caroline is completely fake like her Sheriff mom and, oh yeah, Kelly just doesn't like her. Of course, since pretty much every character I like on this show bites it, I doubt Kelly will last more than a few episodes.

So, "A Few Good Men" is bookended by a vampire named Harper (Sterling Sulieman, 24). We last saw him being revived by spilled blood in the tomb, and even though I was pretty sure the tomb was magically sealed to prevent vampires from getting out, he apparently didn't have any problems. At least he's a polite bloodsucker, apologizing to the helpful man in the woods before killing him and stealing his clothes. Actually, I kind of like Harper too.

I almost forgot to mention--Harper is out in the middle of the day with nary a mild sunburn. Apparently pretty much every vampire in Mystic Falls has a magical ring to protect them from the sun. Much like my complaint that's it's pointless for every human to have the supposedly uber-rare anti-vampire herb vervain, it's equally pointless for every vampire to be able to run around during daylight hours. When everybody's special, no one is. Besides, this just makes everything far too easy (read: boring) and, quite frankly, is some damn lazy writing.

Anyway, Elayna spends the episode seeking out information about her mysterious birth mother, Isobel. With the help of Jenna (and some truly, truly horrible product placement for Microsoft's Bing--do they think we don't notice?) and Stefan, Elayna finds out that Isobel: was a cheerleader, had a best friend named Trudy (whom Elayna goes to see), never admitted who the father was (Saltzman didn't even know she had a baby), and was killed by Damon. More on that in a bit.

Damon is dealing with Katherine's rejection the way any reasonable vampire would--with booze, blood, and sorority girls (it's okay--he's "reformed" now and doesn't want to kill them). Stefan (or as Damon calls him: "Buzzkill Bob") clumsily questions Damon about Alaric Saltzman's wife, Isobel (whom Stefan doesn't think could be the same Isobel as Elayna's mom because it's too much of a coincidence. If only...) Damon claims he doesn't remember her, even after being shown a photo. Meanwhile, Saltzman keeps creepily hanging out around Damon until Damon finally gets his biggest fan--the Sheriff--to do a check on Saltzman. When she reports back that Saltzman is from North Carolina, where his wife, Isobel, mysteriously disappeared, it finally clicks. Damon then decides to publicly and openly taunt Saltzman onstage during a charity bachelor "auction" (actually a raffle), claiming that his wife was "delicious." Way to keep a low profile, Damon! Not to mention that Elayna, all sweetness and sympathy toward Damon up until now, realizes as she watches the auction that he killed Isobel. She then angrily confronts him and lets him know that Saltzman's wife was her birth mother. He's clearly shocked and then upset with himself. Not exactly sure why Damon is so attached to Elayna. Could be all the "moments" they've been sharing lately, much to Stefan's barely noticeable chagrin (there's an especially nice one this episode, although it was based on the flimsiest of pretenses). I also noticed Damon is now calling Elayna "our" girlfriend.

Damon is also confronted by Saltzman back at the Salvatore mansion. I don't know why Saltzman thought he could take on a vampire with nothing but a stake, but the fight is short and brutal, with Damon taunting him even more viciously about his wife--and admitting that he turned Isobel after she begged him to--before using the stake against him. Damon then sits with a drink and coolly watches as Saltzman dies.

I know it was supposed to be a big revelation that Damon didn't actually kill Isobel, but please--it was so completely predictable, even before Saltzman mentioned in a previous episode that his wife's body was never found. I really love shows where all the plot twists either come completely out of left field (Elayna being adopted) or are so utterly obvious there's no surprise when they're finally revealed. There are many well-crafted television shows out there. The Vampire Diaries, however, is not one of them.

Meanwhile, after the auction Elayna and Stefan head outside where they run into the strange man Elayna saw outside of Trudy's house when she was leaving. It quickly becomes clear that the man is under a vampire's compulsion. He tells Elayna to stop looking and that "she" doesn't want to know Elayna. When Elayna says she understands, he steps in the path of an oncoming truck. Shocked at the possibility that her mother is still alive, Elayna takes advantage of the chaos at the scene and pockets dead weird guy's cellphone. Alone at home, she calls the last number that called the phone. A woman answers assuming it's the man, and asks him questions. When Elayna speaks up and asks if she's Isobel, the woman hangs up. So your vampire birth mother goes to a ridiculous amount of trouble to make sure you stay away from her and what's the first thing you do? Keep looking for her, of course! Then again, if Isobel hadn't bothered trying to keep Elayna away, Elayna would have believed Damon killed her and it all would have been over.

When Stefan finally returns home, he doesn't believe that Saltzman attacked Damon. But Damon doesn't care. Displaying the type of logic only someone stupidly in love can come up with, Damon has arrived at the conclusion that if Isobel was Elayna's mother, then Isobel must be related to Katherine, and so Katherine must have sent Isobel to him. There's no way it could be a coincidence! He leaves the room and Stefan shows more of his wide range of brooding skills. Suddenly Saltzman's hand twitches and the next thing we know he's alive again. Stefan is convinced he must have vampire blood in his system, but Saltzman claims it's something else. And then he realizes: it's the ring his wife gave him and made him promise to always wear! One: what is it with this show and magic rings? Two: Where do I get one?

At the end of the episode we see vampire Harper again as he approaches an isolated house. I'm not sure whether the mortal owner is compelled or is simply really into vampires, but Pearl and Anna are already there, along with another female vamp who presumably also escaped from the tomb. I guess they've got some revenge plan in the works. An entire group of pissed-off vampires let loose on Mystic Falls? Works for me. Too bad they can't go after the show's writers while they're at it.

Fang Files

Strengths: The power of compulsion. The ability to taunt mercilessly.

Weaknesses: Hunger, stakes, sunlight (for a couple of them, anyway).

Mythology: Vampires need an invitation to enter a private residence. Certain (most) vampires have magical rings that protect them from the sun.

Sound Bites

Stefan: (trying to get Damon to remember Isobel) Think hard. It's important.
Damon: (leaning in and speaking softly) Nothing is important. Not anymore.

Elayna: So, I found out who my birth mother is.
Damon: Ech, who cares? (Elayna looks shocked.) She left you. She sucks.

Elayna to Damon after finding out he killed Isobel: Go ahead--reminisce about how you killed her.

Saltzman: You turned her [Isobel] because you liked her?
Damon: No, I slept with her because I liked her.

The Vampire Diaries, Season 1 Episode 15 "A Few Good Men." Written by Brian Young. Directed by Joshua Butler. From The CW.

24 March 2010

Beautiful Blogger Award

Blood Lines received this award (with much surprise) from Rayment's Readings, Rants and Ramblings. Thank you!

The Rules:

1. Thank and link to the person that gave you the award
2. Pass the award onto 15 bloggers you've recently discovered and think are fantastic
3. Contact said Blogs and let them know they've won
4. State 7 things about yourself

Seven things about myself:

1. My all-time favourite vampire is Spike aka William the Bloody (Buffy).
2. I think Joss Whedon set the gold standard for vampires.
3. So far I've had dreams involving: Spike, Angel, Bill Compton, Eric Northman, and Damon (from Vampire Diaries). I've also been Buffy in at least one dream. (Minds out of the gutter--they weren't *all* pervy dreams.)
4. My three favourite movies are not about vampires: (Harold and Maude, Amelie, and Nightmare Before Christmas).
5. My favourite books are also not about vampires: Crime and Punishment, the Hitchhiker's Guide & Dirk Gently books, and the Harry Potter series.
6. My favourite TV shows, on the other hand, are all about vampires: Buffy, Angel, and True Blood (I'm also a fan of Forever Knight).
7. Besides working on my blogs, I also write fiction. Currently finishing a trilogy (novels) about--what else?--vampires.

My choices for this award:

My Ghoul Friday
Apocalypse Cakes
Zombies and Toys
Skull-A-Day
Lovin' from the Oven
Lobster and Swan
Blue Lotus
Cabinet of Wonders
Clever Nesting
Dress, Design, Decor
Waffleizer
Syrian Foodie in London
Flashflashe
Miss Wink
Live. Love. Eat.

23 March 2010

Ad Astra Convention (Toronto)


It's getting to be that time of the year again when vampire fans have to start choosing which events to go to (is it just me or do all these things overlap?) If you happen to be in Toronto the weekend of April 9 to 11th, the Ad Astra con is a good option.

What's in it for you?

Book Launches

*Truthseekers 3: Level Up by Rob St.Martin
A group of small-town teens fight all manner of nasties, including vampires.

*Evolve: Vampire Stories of the New Undead, various authors
The first Canadian all-vampire anthology explores the future of vamps.


Making Appearances

*Author Kelley Armstrong
*Author Stephanie Bedwell-Grime
*Author Robert Boyczuk
*Author Karen Dales
*Author Nancy Kilpatrick
*Designer/Illustrator Ken Lillie-Paetz
*Author Kevin Nunn
*Author Rob St.Martin

Masquerade

An amateur costume and sketch competition for costumes of any origin including Buffy and other vampire related. More info here.

Panels

*Fandom: From Generation to Generation-- Who inspired fandom in you and how do you share it with your children?

*Paranormal Fiction: a Rising Genre-- What is it, why is it so popular, what do you want to see more/less of?

*Monster as Political Statement-- When is a walking corpse just a walking corpse?

*Vampires through the Ages

*Vampire Overload

Shopping

Vendors and dealers to serve all your shopping needs.

For more info, click here.

Ad Astra Convention, April 9 to 11, at Toronto Don Valley Hotel and Suites, 1250 Eglinton Avenue East.


17 March 2010

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith

Spoilers Ahead

I have a confession to make--I haven't read the book Seth Grahame-Smith is famous for: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I love zombies; Jane Austen not so much (I read Pride and Prejudice twice, hoping I might like it more the second time, so I'm not exactly eager to waste more time on it even with the inclusion of the walking dead). The good thing about being unfamiliar with Grahame-Smith's work is that I'm unfamiliar with his work. I came to Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter with a clean slate on the author's MO and abilities.

The basic premise of the book is that Abraham Lincoln, sixteenth president of the United States, spent nearly his entire life under the fangs (so to speak) of vampires. From his childhood when he discovered his beloved mother had been killed by a vampire loanshark (rather than by "Milk Sickness" as is commonly thought) to the very last days of his presidency, Lincoln was never free of vampires.

I have to say, I enjoyed reading about Lincoln's life. I'm a fan of history, but I don't know much about American history. I'd like to read more about Lincoln now and see how Grahame-Smith's story meshes with Lincoln's own. I did check a couple of the facts and they were accurate (or accurate enough), and could conceivably involve vampires. Grahame-Smith clearly knew what he was doing when he chose Lincoln of all the presidents.

I also have to give props to the cover design: a fairly sedate picture of Lincoln rendered in black and white with splashes of red. It takes a second to notice the "splashes" are bloody hand- and foot-prints, and that Abe is holding an axe behind his back. That's the front cover. When you turn the book over, you get the back view of the same scene, complete with severed vampire head being clutched in Lincoln's hand. Nice.

That being said, there were a few weak spots. I wasn't thrilled that the author included himself at the beginning of the book, claiming a vampire gave him Lincoln's lost journals and told him to write a book about them. The vampire who gave him the journals also included a list of eleven people--the only people with whom Grahame-Smith was "allowed" to discuss the contents of the journals. First of all, if he was supposed to write and publish a book about the journals, why was he limited to talking about them to only a handful of people? Second of all, the subplot with the eleven people goes absolutely nowhere. It would have been better not to mention them at all.

I also had a problem suspending my disbelief throughout the book. Yes, a lot of what happened could have been attributed to vampires, but I kept asking why vampires would do those things. One example is Lincoln's mother's death. The vampire who killed her was owed money by Lincoln's father, who couldn't repay him. So the vampire decided to take his payment in other ways. Sounds reasonable, right? But instead of feeding on Lincoln's mother, the vamp gave her just enough of his blood to sicken and kill her. He did the same with her aunt and uncle, whom Lincoln's father didn't even care about. If I was a vampire out for revenge, I'd make the wife and kids my meal, not spill my own blood to kill the wife and her inconsequential relatives. There were lots of illogical bits along those lines.

Of everything, though, I had the biggest problem with the ending. Predictable and bordering on cheesy; it just wasn't good. It might also have been a smart idea to bring Grahame-Smith back into it at that point, to offer a bit of an epilogue after he's done with the journals.

Is Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter the best vampire book you'll ever read? Probably not, but it's nowhere near the worst, either. Is it the best book on Lincoln you'll ever read? Well, I have no idea about that, but if you're a history buff you'll probably get a kick out of it. Overall, it was an enjoyable read, well-paced, and decently written. Unlike so many books I've read, it left me wanting more. At the very least, you'll get a whole new appreciation for Honest Abe.

If you're interested in seeing the Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter trailer, click here.

Fang Files

Appearance: Extremely pale humans, usually wearing dark glasses and carrying umbrellas/parasols. When the vampire emerges, their eyes turn completely black and long fangs and claws descend.

Strengths: Ability to read minds/recognize the destiny of humans. Super strength, speed, hearing and sense of smell. Can climb buildings vertically. Can jump long distances. Older vampires can withstand the sun. Very old vampires can turn a human who's been dead for a few weeks.

Weaknesses: Axes, stakes, fire, bullets, starvation. Sunlight (young/new vampires).

Mythology and Vampire Culture: A small amount of vampire blood given to a human will make them suffer as though they're being transformed, but will ultimately kill them. To turn a human, an ample amount of vampire blood needs to be given; the human then undergoes pain, fever, and hallucinations before finally becoming a vampire. Some vampires see humans as cattle and treat them accordingly. Others want to keep the natural order, where vampires have superior strength, but humans have superior numbers. These vampires want humanity to thrive, and only feed when necessary.

Text Bite

Abraham Lincoln: Why haven't you killed me!
Henry Sturges: Some people, Abraham, are just too interesting to kill.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith. From Grand Central Publishing. Also available as an e-book.

16 March 2010

True Blood S2 E1 "Nothing but the Blood"

Spoilers Ahead

The interesting thing about True Blood's Season One finale is that it was also the beginning of Season Two. The last we saw of Bon Temps, Sookie and Tara were screaming, and Andy was looking drunkenly disturbed as a dead person's leg (the only visible part) was hanging out of his car.

"Nothing but the Blood" starts off with Sam in another part of the parking lot. He hears the screams and takes off running. We then get a good look at the corpse: Miss Jeanette (aka Nancy Levoir). Although she might have been a heartless con artist performing fake exorcisms, she really has no heart now--it's been brutally removed, a look of sheer terror frozen on her face. And so begins the official start of Season Two.

Tara recognizes Miss Jeanette instantly but refuses to admit she knows her, panicking that it looks too suspicious that the woman conned her and her mom and then suddenly shows up dead. Sookie overhears her thoughts and convinces Tara she has to tell the police. Tara grudgingly acquiesces. It's no surprise that Deputy Kenya, Sheriff Bud, and Detective Andy don't believe Tara's story, especially after her tale a couple of weeks before of a naked woman and a giant pig standing in the road in the middle of the night. Andy seems particularly enraged.

Against Tara's wishes, Lettie Mae is called and arrives in distress. Tara tells her that Miss Jeanette was a fraud, but Lettie Mae refuses to believe it, claiming she's still cured. She then says they're being tested by God and Tara has failed by not staying true to Miss Jeanette. Just when we're thinking what a lovely mother Lettie Mae is, Maryann arrives on the scene. Her initial polite friendliness turns to outright cruelty as she calmly accuses Lettie Mae of abandoning her daughter, as well as emphasizing that she's completely empty. As Maryann walks away with Tara, we suddenly feel sorry for mom.

Tara doesn't seem overly concerned, though, especially as she lounges around Maryann's mansion with Eggs, both helping themselves to the ever-present feast of tropical fruit and pot. It doesn't come as a surprise when Tara and Eggs end up getting smoochy at Merlotte's, or that Sam sees them and looks less than happy about it. Something's seriously off about Tara's situation with Maryann and Tara doesn't even notice.

Speaking of Sam, we finally find out what his situation with Maryann is. Through flashbacks, we find out that Sam met Maryann when he was 17 and attempting to rob her house (did I mention he was naked at the time?) As he's contemplating a goddess statue, she shows up and calmly begins questioning him. Instead of calling the police, she ends up having sex with him, although he seems more confused and freaked out than turned on. Especially when she starts flickering and buzzing in the middle of it. As she's showering, he gets dressed in some men's clothes he finds in the closet and gets back to robbing her. This time he hits the jackpot when he finds a drawer full of cash. Back to the present and believing Maryann is in Bon Temps looking for payback, Sam hands her a bag full of the money he stole and offers an apology. She laughs and tells him that's not what she wants.

So, what's up with Maryann? She's preternaturally calm, although she loses her temper with Carl (her butler) when he interrupts Tara and Eggs before they can kiss. She clearly has an agenda (why does she want Tara and Eggs to kiss? And what does she want from Sam?) She has a way of showing up at just the right (or wrong) time. If she's not inhuman, she definitely has inhuman abilities (like not aging, among other things). And it's a pretty safe bet that her origins lie somewhere in Greece. There's a large image at the mansion of the god Pan with one of his lovers; Maryann goes on about it, mentioning that the ancient Greeks believed there was only the thinnest of veils between the human and the divine. The goddess statue, although not strictly Greek (at least, not that I recognize) speaks to her polytheistic tendencies. And the sudden arrival of a new waitress named Daphne leads me to think it's not coincidental (despite her assertion that she thinks her name is French). Maryann's definitely interesting, although I still wish Tara would get the hell away from her.

I mentioned in my episode 11 review that I thought Maryann put the whammy on Andy, transferring Tara's drunkenness onto him. Whether she did it or not, he's hitting the bottle pretty hard lately. Bud has to tell him more than once that he needs to go home. He also tells him that, as both a material witness and a suspect, Andy's off the Miss Jeanette case. Not that Andy listens. He's on his way to building quite the reputation for himself as town drunk.

Bill's been missing all the excitement because he's got his hands full with Jessica, the teenager he was forced to make into a vampire. Not only is she a teen, she's also a newbie vampire full of volatile emotions. It's cute to watch old-fashioned Bill try to father the seriously rebellious girl. She rolls her eyes as he explains the recycling system at his house, and she thinks it's awesome when he tells her she looks like a slattern. Somehow this only endears me more to both of them. When Sookie shows up, she's introduced to Jessica as the girl emerges from the shower, wrapped only in a towel. Sookie's not impressed, particularly by the fact that Bill never told her about Jessica. Bill claims he didn't want to share the pain of what he did, but Sookie snaps that she doesn't want him to protect her anymore (we'll see about that). Bill looks stricken as Sookie leaves.

At home Sookie tries, but can't bring herself to pack up her Gran's things. When she ends up being interrupted by the doorbell, it turns out to be more upsetting news: Uncle Bartlett's body has been found. It seems he fell into the creek behind his house a few weeks back and drowned. The body's in too bad shape to really tell. But he must have cared for Sookie very much because he left her his house and all his assets ($11,000). We're treated to some depressingly obvious imagery as Sookie takes the envelope with her inheritance and smears blood on it from a cut on her finger. Yeah, we pretty much already got that it was blood money, thanks. One of the less impressive moments of the show.

After annoying a drunk Sam by trying to apologizing for hurting him (he snaps that she's always either apologizing to him or yelling at him, and he can't be whatever she wants whenever she wants anymore), Sookie heads over to Bill's place. Bill is in the middle of trying to find a Tru Blood mix that Jessica can actually stomach (two parts O neg to one part B pos seems the most palatable). Sookie sweet-talks Jessica into giving her and Bill some alone time, and then confronts Bill about Uncle Bartlett's death. I can understand Sookie's angst about someone potentially ending up dead every time she confides in Bill, but I don't know if I'd be too upset (or surprised) about my vampire boyfriend killing my molester. Just saying. Anyway, she tells him she doesn't know if they can be together, and after a moment of frozen anguish, he stops her from leaving and tells her he'll atone for everything he's done to hurt her, but he isn't sorry about killing Bartlett. Then he tells her he loves her and Sookie breaks down and tells Bill she loves him. The best way to describe what happens next is to say that Bill takes her in a manly fashion. It's not a bad scene at all, but I have to wonder why vampires insist on white bedding when there's all that biting going on. So impractical.

Jason's been busy being "saved" and finding his purpose with the Fellowship of the Sun. After reading Rev. Newlin Sr.'s book (which posits--unsurprisingly--that vampires are the children of Satan), he ends up going to a reception/book signing for Rev. Newlin Jr (Steve). Jason is almost as enamoured with the anti-vampire crusader as the Reverend's cute wife (Sarah) is (she's wearing clothes that match his tie and claims that her husband is God's purpose for her. Feel free to gag...) Orry Dawson (who first made contact with Jason and is the one who introduces him to the Newlins) claims Jason would be a perfect candidate for the Light of Day Institute, which trains the best and brightest to spread the church's gospel. And the upcoming leadership conference is only $1200! Jason doesn't think he can afford it, but Steve points out that "there's no price on salvation" while Sarah tells him he should pray on it because God will give him a sign. At work, Jason tells Hoyt about the Fellowship. Hoyt calls them vampire haters, but Jason says they've got answers and that he feels like he got a calling from Jesus--or from Steve Newlin himself! God really must work in mysterious ways: Sookie shows up and insists Jason take the money from Uncle Bartlett. Awestruck, Jason looks up to heaven and thanks God. Meanwhile the rest of us want to tell him to run from these people as fast as he can (I hope he and Tara eventually end up together because they seem to have way too much in common).

Perhaps most important of all this episode, we find out what happened to Lafayette. It turns out he's chained up with other people in a dark, dank basement. He looks sick, weak, and filthy. He has no idea how long he's been down there. Suddenly a hooded man is brought in and chained with the rest of them. As his hood is removed we find out it's Royce--the redneck who complained about the "AIDS" in Lafayette's food, and who also helped torch the house with the vampires inside. Royce is scared and confused and starts asking questions about what's going on. Lafayette doesn't know why he's there or what happens to the other people, but "sometimes there are screams."

Giving in to his fear, Royce starts confessing everything bad he's done. He mentions he was thrown out of a window and shattered his hip, leaving him with a metal hip and a magnetic ass. Lafayette doesn't want to know any of it. After time passes Royce claims he has a plan to break out, but he swears he'll come back for Lafayette. As Lafayette is telling him to shut up, Eric comes downstairs (the highlighting foil in his hair is a nice touch). He tells them he can hear everything and since they made him come all the way downstairs, he's going to take out some of the garbage. Grabbing Royce, Eric reminds him of the fire and claims that crimes against vampires are on the rise, that they've even lost a Sheriff. Lafayette is cringing in the corner as Eric starts dragging Royce upstairs. Royce gets the bright idea to burn Eric on the face with a silver cross he's wearing. To say Eric is enraged is an understatement. We see their shadows on the wall as Eric tears Royce apart, we hear Royce's screams, and we watch blood splatter across Lafayette as he looks on helplessly. Cut to the credits and a nifty song (also titled "Nothing but the Blood") about the "precious blood" of Jesus. (Apparently all the episodes of season 2 share titles with songs featured in the episode.)

Overall, I'd say this is a fine start to Season Two. There's already tons going on and plenty more to anticipate. All the characters are showing new dimensions, particularly the vampires. And connections to the characters deepen as they get themselves into increasingly worse trouble. As far as TV shows go, I think True Blood is hitting, and surpassing, the mark. Now if they'd only release the second season on dvd...

Fang Files

Strengths: ability to hold a grudge, super speed, super hearing, super strength.

Weaknesses: silver.

Mythology: Newly turned vampires are vulnerable (2/3 die within the first year--they need to keep their strength up by feeding) and prone to erratic impulses.

Sound Bites

Sookie: (re: Jessica) You bit her.
Bill: Yes.
Sookie: You drained her.
Bill: Yes.
Sookie: Did you have sex with her?
Bill: No!
Jessica: Eww! Old!

Sam: What are you?
Maryann: Baby boy, you're not the only one who's special in this world.

Sookie: (after Bill tells her he loves her) Oh, damn you, Bill Compton. I love you.

True Blood Season 2 Episode 1 "Nothing but the Blood." Written by Alexander Woo. Directed by Daniel Minahan. From HBO.

11 March 2010

Trailer: Suck

Okay, so I know most of you are probably going to be more interested in seeing the Twilight: Eclipse trailer I posted earlier. Me, well I'll take Suck. In case you missed my original post about Suck, it's a vampire spoof about a struggling rock band that finds an alternate way to achieve immortality. It's also got an amazing cast, including Malcolm McDowell, Iggy Pop, Alice Cooper, Dimitri Coats, and Henry Rollins. Annoyingly, I didn't get to see it at TIFF as planned, but once it's released in theatres, nothing's stopping me. And after seeing the trailer, I have the feeling I won't be the only one anxious to see this movie.

Trailer: Twilight: Eclipse

You know you want to see it...

10 March 2010

RIP Sam Emerson

I'm not really one to get publicly sentimental when a celebrity dies, and I definitely didn't plan on doing so in this blog. But the death of Corey Haim is a shock, one that has me grieving both for him and my childhood. I won't get into the sad details of his life in recent years or the way he died (I'll leave that to the vultures and tabloids). I'll just say that he was awesome in The Lost Boys. He was funny and cute and had some of the best lines. The only reason I was at all interested in the next Lost Boys sequel was because of the return of Sam (as a vampire, no less). I'll never be able to watch the The Lost Boys again without a jolt of sadness.

RIP Corey Haim. RIP Sam.

03 March 2010

Angel #26 "Boys and their Toys: Part 1"

Spoilers Ahead

It's been too long since I've had a chance to read any comics. Bad blogger--bad! But I have to say, after keeping busy with Pinocchio: Vampire Slayer and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, it's good to take on something that approaches vampires from the other perspective, in this case Angel #26. Besides, I've missed my favourite fanged brooder. Well, I miss the whole Buffyverse in general, but you know what I mean.

I have to start by commenting on the cover art (by Stephen Mooney): Love it! I've seen some good covers in my day but this has to be the first simulated action-figure package . And really--how can you not love the Swivel Arm Battle-Grip Angel? Or that he comes with a blood packet, and that the dragon is sold separately (if you've been reading IDW's "After the Fall" Angel comics, that last part will make sense)? The cover of Issue #26 speaks directly to the geek in me, which is exactly the point, as I found out as soon as I turned the page.

I don't even know where to start with the win in this issue. The long anticipated (by me) return of Spike (and prominent role of Groo). The Hollywood take on LA going to Hell (with Spike as a chick). The sci-fi convention and requisite fanboys and girls. The group of demonic assassins in teddy bear costumes. The return of Janus-worshippers (although sadly not Ethan Rayne, RIP) and cursed costumes (as originally seen in Buffy Season 2, "Halloween"). Yeah, this issue left me giddy.

The basic story is that Angel heads to a sci-fi con to look for the flaming sword that formerly killed him and is now up for auction. Between the fans and assassins, there's a lot of interest in said sword, and Angel wants to know who ends up with it. Lucky him--he's got help in the form of Groo, Spike, and Jeremy (from Spike: After the Fall). Disguising themselves in the free costumes being handed out at the door, wackiness ensues when Janus is invoked and everyone turns into whatever they're wearing. Suddenly the place is awash in super heroes, ninjas, cuddly bears, and Angel himself. Want to guess which costume Spike was wearing when the spell hit? I always thought Spike was at his funniest when mocking Angel. It's not any less funny when it becomes self-mockery.

To say I can't wait to read the next issue is an understatement. Maybe the Buffyverse isn't so far away, after all.

Text Bite

Angel: Now he's going to move in and--
Giant Teddy Bear: Hugs are the key ingredient in a love casserole!
Angel: Um, he's going to move in and cuddle me within an inch of my life. This day just took the weirdest 180.

Angel Issue #26 "Boys and their Toys: Part 1"; art by Stephen Mooney and written by Brian Lynch. From IDW Publishing.